Share:

When and Where Fall Foliage Will Peak This Autumn

09.26.18

Start Exploring
When and Where Fall Foliage Will Peak This Autumn

Share:

Advertisement
  • Beautiful autumn colors on the Blue Ridge Parkway near mile marker 385.- When and Where Fall Foliage Will Peak This Autumn
  • Max patch.- When and Where Fall Foliage Will Peak This Autumn
  • Views from the AT on the Grayson Highlands Loop.- When and Where Fall Foliage Will Peak This Autumn
  • Fall colors below Yosemite Falls.- When and Where Fall Foliage Will Peak This Autumn
  • Hiking below Nevada Falls.- When and Where Fall Foliage Will Peak This Autumn
  • The campground road entrance off of Highway 82.- When and Where Fall Foliage Will Peak This Autumn
  • An old homestead along the Hunter Creek Trail, Highway 82.- When and Where Fall Foliage Will Peak This Autumn
  • Paraglider coming in for a landing near the East Aspen Bike Trail, Highway 82.- When and Where Fall Foliage Will Peak This Autumn
  • A kiosk at the junction where the Cabin Trail and Red Hill Trail split.- When and Where Fall Foliage Will Peak This Autumn
  • An old hunting cabin on the Cabin Trail.- When and Where Fall Foliage Will Peak This Autumn
  • Moonrise over Mount Regan.- When and Where Fall Foliage Will Peak This Autumn
  • Fall colors decorate the headwaters of Stanley Lake Creek.- When and Where Fall Foliage Will Peak This Autumn
  • Woodford State Park.- When and Where Fall Foliage Will Peak This Autumn
  • Early morning at the beach.- When and Where Fall Foliage Will Peak This Autumn
  • The park roads at Lake Shaftsbury are closed to vehicles after Labor Day, which means it's a great place to bring the kids and bikes.- When and Where Fall Foliage Will Peak This Autumn
  • Lower Kentucky Falls adorned with colorful leaves.- When and Where Fall Foliage Will Peak This Autumn
  • Cascade Creek.- When and Where Fall Foliage Will Peak This Autumn
  • Aspen along the eastern trail near Cascade Creek.- When and Where Fall Foliage Will Peak This Autumn
  • South Fork Mineral Creek.- When and Where Fall Foliage Will Peak This Autumn
  • Turquoise water contrasts against the red riverbed rock and yellow leaves.- When and Where Fall Foliage Will Peak This Autumn
  • Fall foliage from the McArthur-Burney Memorial State Park.- When and Where Fall Foliage Will Peak This Autumn
  • Prusik Peak and the Temple seen from the Upper Enchantment Lakes.- When and Where Fall Foliage Will Peak This Autumn
  • Little Annapurna.- When and Where Fall Foliage Will Peak This Autumn
  • Western larch (Larix occidentalis) at Colchuck Lake.- When and Where Fall Foliage Will Peak This Autumn
  • Colchuck Lake reflection.- When and Where Fall Foliage Will Peak This Autumn
  • River winding along the Marvine Lake Trail.- When and Where Fall Foliage Will Peak This Autumn
  • Golden aspen leaves.- When and Where Fall Foliage Will Peak This Autumn
  • The Marvine Lake Trail is singletrack for much of the way.- When and Where Fall Foliage Will Peak This Autumn
  • Beautiful fall colors on the Lake Mary Trail.- When and Where Fall Foliage Will Peak This Autumn
  • Such great autumn color in Big Cottonwood Canyon.- When and Where Fall Foliage Will Peak This Autumn
  • Woods Canyon Lake.- When and Where Fall Foliage Will Peak This Autumn
  • Forested area surrounds Woods Canyon Lake.- When and Where Fall Foliage Will Peak This Autumn
  • Panorama of the Smoky Mountains, looking out over Happy Valley and past Cades Cove to Gregory Bald.- When and Where Fall Foliage Will Peak This Autumn
  • Fall colors in the Smoky Mountains are some of the best anywhere.- When and Where Fall Foliage Will Peak This Autumn
  • Red maple (Acer rubrum) leaves showing their true color.- When and Where Fall Foliage Will Peak This Autumn
Article
Contributor

Temperatures are dropping, you’re pulling puffies and fleeces out from the back of the closet, craving hearty meals and baked goods, and maybe even secretly coveting a certain seasonal beverage at your local coffee shop…fall is here.

And what better way to celebrate the season than to plan a trip or two to see the aspens, cottonwoods, maples and other deciduous trees change color for autumn. Luckily for outdoor explorers, some of the best fall leaf-peeping happens in places that are also perfect for hiking, biking, and other adventurous activities.

The fact that these leaves change colors every year never ceases to dazzle onlookers. The shift in colors happens when temperatures cool and days grow shorter, signaling to nutrient-making cells in the tree’s leaves that summer is over. These cells are filled with chlorophyll, a chemical with a strong green color that masks other pigments in the leaves, such as yellow, orange, and red. When the chlorophyll-filled processes slow down, these warmer tones emerge.

But this process happens at different times throughout the country and in different plant species. Here’s a quick guide on where you can see the transition—and what outdoor adventures will allow you to witness it firsthand. Visit this link for an interactive map and more detail on your specific region.

Northeast

One of the first areas in the country to start showcasing the transition from green to yellows, oranges, and reds, the fall leaf viewing in this region begins in late September and peaks around October 8. By the following week, the leaves’ brilliant display will fade.

Intermountain West

The rocky mountain states are right behind the Northeast, starting their foliage shift the last week of September. The high elevations of Colorado and New Mexico will peak first around Octover 1, and lower elevations and the rest of the Rockies (Utah, Wyoming, Montana, parts of Idaho) will peak October 8 through October 15.

Northwest

The Pacific Northwest's fall leaf viewing season is right behind, starting around October 8 and sticking around through October 29. Higher elevations in the Cascades will peak the week prior. The Southern Cascades in California will be on the same schedule as Oregon and Washington, whereas the lower half of the state falls in the Southwest category.

Southwest

Fall foliage in Southern California, Nevada, Arizona, and the lower elevation parts of New Mexico is spotty until the week of October 15 through October 22. The display will be in full force by October 29.

Southeast

The Southeast is another week behind the Southwest, beginning to show color around October 22 and not peaking until the first week of November.

Advertisement
Published By

Published by

Contributor
5 Adventures Explored

Newsletter Signup

Join the Outdoor Project Community

Get access to essential planning materials and information for your next adventure. Take a few seconds to join the community. It’s FREE!

Free Field Guides + Maps

Post Updates, Tips + Comments

Organize + Track Your Adventures

Insider Detailed Info, News + Benefits

Custom Driving Directions

Recommended Campsites, Photos + Reservation Info